PREMIERE: CHRIS SIMMONS ‘THE DEEPEST WOUND’
Grief is a funny thing. People often compare it to water, the way is comes in waves, washing over you when you least expect it to. Sometimes it’s like a tsunami, rising through the trees and laying waste to everything in its path, and all you can do is hold on for dear life, or let yourself get swept away with the current. Sometimes it’s more like a stream, a steady trickle of sadness that is always there, or a tap left to drip, a niggling unease in the back of your skull. Grief is universal, but everyone will experience it differently. Some people will be unaffected by the death of a relative, but will mourn the death of a pet like it was their own child taken away from them. Some people are very stoic, perhaps shedding a tear at the funeral and then burying their feelings along with the coffin. People like me are incapable of locking away their feelings like this; they will wail, and throw things at walls, and descend into a lethargy that lasts long after the traditional mourning period. When I lost someone close to me, I stopped doing anything – I stopped writing songs, I stopped showering and brushing my teeth, and I stopped hoovering my flat. It took months before my desire to create came back again, and suddenly I was spending whole nights fervently writing and recording an EP – I used to think it was a cliché that loss inspires creativity, but maybe there is some truth in it. This is something singer-songwriter Chris Simmons knows all too well, having recorded a double A-side following the death of his brother a few years ago. Like many musicians, he took a much needed trip to India to re-calibrate, and found that the words started coming thick and fast, in what he believes is his ‘best ever material’, attracting co-writes from Royal Blood’s Mark Kerr and long time supporter Chris Difford. ‘Deepest Wound‘ is a simple track with gently plucked guitar and velvety strings, showcasing Simmons’ sublimely wavering vocal and prowess for great songwriting. Lyrically, the song explores themes of loss and acceptance, with an overarching positive message, touching the nucleus of and coalescing that pain of grief. ‘Gold Dust‘, the second track on the double A-side has a slightly different feel, more Sufjan Stevens than Jeff Buckley (although the gap between these two artists is hardly huge), with rich vocal harmony and synth accents that add an otherworldly feel to the track – perfectly encapsulating the dreamlike nature of the lyrics as he sings ‘I am running to you / In my mind’. Two very well crafted songs on a very difficult subject matter – beware, ‘Deepest Wound’ and ‘Gold Dust’ will make you feel things.